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 London - Beyond Big Ben - Spring & Fall 2016

 We want you to come away from our 5 day tour
with more than vivid  memories of London’s majestic  monuments


Our tour expands your view of London:

THEATRE:  3 plays at such venues as the Royal Court, the Old Vic, the National Theatre depending what’s on. London theatre has short runs for its plays so we have to wait closer to our tour to make play choices.

A NEW HOTEL LOCATION: Belgravia, a vibrant upscale neighborhood close to Buckingham Palace, Victoria Station,Sloane Square with lots of small restaurants and boutiques We like  not being in a crowded tourist area and at a chain hotel.

LUXURY LONDON: Strategy: if we can’t afford high room prices of London’s luxury hotels, we can afford a visit and a meal. Sprinkled throughout our itinerary the London luxury experience : Lunch at the iconic Savoy Hotel, , shopping at Fortnum & Mason; afternoon tea at the Goring, Hotel, optional spa treatment at the Four Seasons

Day 1…

Arrive in London. Transfer on your own to the London Express, a 20 minute fast train ride to Paddington Station, then taxi to our hotel.

Or if you prefer, we can arrange a private transfer from the airport  to our hotel.

Late afternoon:
 London by private taxi… drive by all of London’s favorite monuments: Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, Tower of London and more.

Evening: A light bite, you will be tired, at a small Italian restaurant right around the corner from our hotel: great pasta and pizza.

Day 2…Luxury London close-up:

Morning: visit to Fortnum & Mason, London’s luxury food emporium. And, of course, we will visit their hat department… nothing matches the fun and whimsy of London hats. Try on time guaranteed.

Lunch at Gymkhana… A Michelin starred restaurant with an amazing lunch that ended with delicious and pretty  rose ice cream.

Matinee theatre

Day 3…

The Evolution of Theatre in London, a 3 hour walking tour, with Context tours led by an impressive scholar guide. I have taken London walking tours with 90 people. Context gives private tours for as few as 4 people. Our walk begins on the South Bank, not far from the Globe Theatre, the modern reconstruction of the playhouse where many of Shakespeare’s plays were premiered. Then on to examine two great royal theatres, Drury Lane and Covent Garden.

Day 4…

LONDON FOODIE DAY…LONDON amazes with ways to enjoy its great food

Morning: Visit to Borough Market… dozens of food vendors …from fish ‘n chips to superb cheeses and everything in between. Fun and hectic. Pick up a few goodies to bring home.

Followed by a 30 or 60 minute cooking class at L”Atelier des Chefs.. a cooking school with a great format that teaches and entertains.

Optional: A visit to an Ottolenghi take-out shop where we can sit and perhaps sample a dessert. If you are unfamiliar with Ottolenghi, he is the super star chef whose cookbooks Plenty and Jerusalem are very popular. He snpecializes in creative, delicious vegetarian dishes.

4:30 PM: Aftenoon tea at the Goring Hotel , every trip to London should include a proper English tea in a lovely setting.   Kate Middleton and her family stayed at this beloved hotel before the royal wedding, a great endorsement

Day 5:

Explore Barbican, a fascinating complex that features theatre, music and dance performances. Take a morning architectural tour that chronicles the building of this amazing over 30 acre complex.

Lunch at the iconic Savoy Hotel. London’s most famous hotel considered by many as London’s number one hotel, recently remodeled. My favorite memory of the Savoy was lounging in the enormous tub of my bathroom while I looked out at the Thames

Afternoon free to visit a museum. You might want to explore some of the alternatives to London’s major museums such as the London Museum that chronicles the fascinating history of the city of London or the Sir John Soane’s Museum. That has recently opened some additional rooms.

Farewell dinner

Day 6:

Museum Day - optional. I urge you to stay on an extra day to visit one or two of London's best museums

London Theater

Night view of London's Big Ben
Barbican Performing Arts Center
Barbican Performing Arts Center

London Eats

Yotam Ottolenghi Desserts and Vegetable Salads

Royal Court Theatre
Front Facade of the Victoria & Albert Museum
Goring Hotels wins Top London Afternoon Tea Award

Costs: $3250 … 5 night hotel. Single room without single supplement, full English breakfast, theatre tickets Royal Court, National Theatre or other according to what is offered, London by Private Taxi, drive by all major monuments and museums,  Evolution of Theate private walking tour, Elegant afternoon tea, lunch at starred Mchelin restaurant and iconic Savoy Hotel. Fun half hour cooking class.

Not included: airfare, airport transfers, meals not indicated, wine, alcoholic beverages, coffee stops .  Optional ticket for Billy Elliott, other means of transportation besides shared taxis.